Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Monday, April 22, 2013

Kadena resiliency program adapts, grows

by Staff Sgt. Rachelle Coleman
18th Wing Public Affairs

4/22/2013 - KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- One year ago, base helping agencies joined forces to create a web-based resiliency school to promote and increase education.

The program, called Kadena Leadership Pathways, is open to all military members, active duty, guard and reservist, as well as Department of Defense civilians and dependents. It is based on the four pillars of fitness -- mental, social, physical and spiritual -- and encourages taking a proactive approach to comphrehensive mental fitness.

Information on the needs of the community was collected with a community assessment survey through the integrated delivery system and community action and information board. The IDS is a program which links all helping agencies on base including the chapels, mental health, health and wellness center, and Airman and family readiness center. The CAIB is a board of agencies which communicates the needs of the base populace with commanders.

According to Chaplain (Maj.) Randy Sellers, IDS chairperson, the purpose is to provide classes from the helping agencies on base, to help fortify Airmen in resiliency and leadership and to provide a single forum to show what all of the agencies offer.

"That's what we do -- we look out there, put our feelers out there and we hear what the base is saying," Sellers said. "The IDS collects that information and then we [identify] this as a trend, more than one person has said this, and we develop a course."

Throughout its first year, the resiliency program continued to adapt to the needs of the base. One of the classes developed through the identification process was Bi-cultural Marriages, which started earlier this month.

In its first year, approximately 1,600 military members and dependents have participated in the program.

Airman 1st Class Jessica Schmidt, 18th Medical Operations Squadron aerospace medical technician, started using the program in December and has earned 18 points so far. The points, which are earned for every class taken, can be used for different incentives. Classes, because they are intended to help educate, can also be used on performance reports and awards packages for self improvement achievements.

"When I first started I was looking for something to do because I have my college degree already and I didn't want to take college classes again," Schmidt said. "Some of the classes seemed interesting and the more I took of them, the more I got involved."

"For me it turned out to be a lot more that just getting bullets," she added.

Schmidt, has taken classes from How to Avoid Marrying a Jerk/Jerkette -- her favorite class -- to Surviving Adolescence and Adulthood, although she's a single Airman with no dependents.

Class subjects include finance, nutrition, relationships and parenting.

Though the incentives may be the driving force for some taking the classes, the real benefit comes from the lessons learned.

According to Schmidt, one class named for parents with teenagers actually helped the 28-year-old to communicate with some of her younger coworkers.

An incentive program is available for active-duty military members. The point system is as follows; classes two hours or less are worth one point, classes four hours or less are with two points, and classes six hours or less are worth three points.

These points can be accumulated for the following recognition program incentives:

1 Star or Squadron-level recognition (8 points): Parking spot, recognition at commander's call and certificate

2 Star or Group-level recognition (15 points): Half day off (AD) and certificate

3 Star or Wing-level recogntition (20 points): One day off, picture in the base paper, recognition at Kadena Team Staff Meeting, and certificate

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